By Nabuzale Katherine
It’s unfortunate that we cry of Kampala City being unnecessarily and heavily congested, plagued by chronic traffic jams, frequent flooding, poor waste disposal, dwindling greenery, too many unplanned settlements and worse still, turning into a slum city of sorts. No doubt, the city has and is getting a good number of face-lifts but on the contrary, these are closely surrounded by several slums which unquestionably overshadows all its beauty
Kampala, which is currently covers about 24 low hills, is the hub of administrative, political and commercial activities in Uganda. This has greatly contributed to the current state of the city as an overcrowded, disorderly city because all major government businesses and their respective ministries are permanently stationed there, including other sectors such as arts, economics and the informal sector have followed suit.
Consequently, people from all walks of life converge in the city to seek employment and a better life with the hope and knowledge that where there is power, there are opportunities.
It's no wonder that the majority will attest to the fact that, the mess bedeviling Kampala is a result of not only rural-urban migration but also urban-urban migration as people crowd in the city in search of opportunities, only to burden a service delivery system that was designed for a limited population.
It’s such a shame that the ministry of agriculture recently left their home in Entebbe to come and add on the congestion in the City, shamelessly spending huge sums of tax payers' money to rent space in Kampala. Such monies would otherwise, be spent on improving and modernising our agricultural activities.
Therefore, relocation of some government ministries and organs, either permanently to other regions or on a rotational basis, will help with easing the congestion problem in the capital city thus, relieving its already strained service delivery sector.
This move would also provide opportunities for democratic development, for instance, other regions would also gain from the development bang that seems to be only limited to Kampala, creating more employment, better local governance and improved service delivery. The end result would see regions across Uganda develop equitably.
Taking such a move may be glowered upon by many, but for the sake of bringing back order in our beloved City, the government needs to summon the political will to move some ministries and agencies to other regions/districts. The private sector too should be encouraged to operate and set up businesses in the less developed towns so as to attract people away from the city centre.
That arrangement, however, would be aided if the Government concentrated its efforts on facilitating provision of infrastructure like roads, hospitals, revamping good old schools back to their glory days etc, to encourage investors and businesses to move to other less developed districts.
This would immensely contribute to orderly and horizontal development across the country which is in contrast to the uneven development we see presently. It’s a pity that most of what one would actually call development is centred in and around Kampala.
The massive physical development concentrated in Kampala doesn't meet the vision of development for Uganda as a whole. It is sad to notice once prominent towns/districts wasting away in their former shadows, as new districts come on board, but merely in the name of 'new districts' with nothing to show of what should surely befit a town or district for that matter.
These seem more of village administrative centres with hardly any functioning infrastructure or public utility! It is high time the Government thought of giving people tangible reasons to relocate from the city and help decongest the metropolis. This will at the same time spur growth across the country.
It would also be wise for the Government to delay the creation of too many new districts, which don't meet the standard of what a district should hold up to. Reason being, this will not have any positive impact on the imperative of decongesting Kampala and neither shall it address the problem of choked highways in the city.
Correcting the mess in Kampala city may be difficult and costly in the short run; but implementing it would be to the long-term benefit of the city, the well-being of its residents, tourists and the entire country.
For God and my country.